Thursday October 11, 2012
MACC to investigate ‘insider job’ at Cameron Highlands district office
By RAZAK AHMAD and SIMON KHOO
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has started a probe to determine whether insiders at the Cameron Highlands district office are colluding with illegal land clearers.
The investigation is being initiated following the startling revelation by District Officer Datuk Ahmad Daud that moles were possibly leaking information to those responsible for illegal land-clearing in the highlands, resulting in a number of unsuccessful raids by the authorities.
MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said he had instructed his officers to meet Ahmad in order to get an assessment of the situation.
“We want to obtain a picture of what is actually happening,” Shukri said.
On Tuesday, Ahmad said the authorities were finding it hard to catch the people involved in clearing land illegally because district office personnel were in cahoots with the culprits.
He said they suspected someone from within was leaking information to the culprits, resulting in unsuccessful raids.
Regional Environmental Association of Cameron Highlands president R. Ramakrishnan claimed that illegal land-clearing was happening in many areas in the highlands namely Mensun Valley, Brinchang, Tanah Rata and Kampung Taman Sedia.
He said such activities started early this year but the situation had worsened over the last four months.
The move by MACC to investigate illegal land-clearing activities received the thumbs-up from Barisan Nasional leaders.
Cameron Highlands MP Datuk S.K. Devamany said the district officer's statement showed there was mismanagement and leakage of information.
“It is only right that MACC carry out an investigation,” he said.
Tanah Rata assemblyman Datuk Ho Yip Kap said the move was “good for the people of Cameron Highlands”.
“The Government must be seen to be committed in acting against corrupt practices,” he said.